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Author of Feminist Novels Dies

July 24, 1999

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Barbara Raskin, 63, author of feminist novels about women in middle age, most notably ``Hot Flashes,″ died Friday at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore of complications following surgery for vascular disease.

Published two decades after the women’s movement kicked into gear, ``Hot Flashes″ of 1987 was considered an important work for its celebration of female friendship. The book chronicles three women who gather to mourn the death of a writer friend, who had left behind a journal describing her despair when her husband left for a younger woman. The friends then salvage the writer’s unfinished autobiographical novel, written for revenge.

The book was on The New York Times bestsellers list for four months and was praised for capturing the feelings of a generation of well-educated women who raised families while their husbands pursued careers.

Raskin’s other books include ``The National Anthem,″ a look at Washington during the Watergate investigation, ``Loose Ends″ and ``Out of Order.″ She received a fiction award from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1982.

Raskin and her then-husband, Marcus, also were known for their political activism, after Marcus Raskin left his job at the White House and came out against the Vietnam War in the 1960s. Their home became a meeting place for the civil rights and antiwar movement. The couple later divorced.

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